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Safety Issues



More than 60% of children and teens with a diagnosis of ASD experience bullying. A person with autism may need to be taught explicitly, and more than once, about “what is a friend” and “what is a bully.” Here is a link to a free social story about bullying.

Here are some links to tips and guidance about preventing bullying and what to do if bullying happens.

Challenging Behaviors

Autism Speaks has links to videos and short overviews on topics such as anxiety, irritability, and behavioral health. You can obtain the "Autism Speaks: Challenging Behaviors Toolkit" here.

Disability Placard in MA

If a child has safety issues in public, discuss with your child’s pediatrician if a placard (sometimes referred to as a handicap placard) is needed. If so, the caregiver and pediatrician complete the application, located here.

Police and First Responders

Many parents are concerned about the safety of their child; concerns include wandering, eloping, and aggressive behavior. Please consider introducing yourself to the police and first responders in your town, and telling them about your child. Then consider introducing your child to them.

There are free resources to guide discussions. NAA's Meet the Police Toolkit includes steps you can take to establish trusting relationships, reduce confusion and fear, and encourage opportunities for law enforcement agencies to get to know members of their community who may be at increased risk due to behaviors commonly associated with autism.


About one-half of children with an autism diagnosis wander. It is very important to learn more about autism, wandering and safety.

Big Red Safety Box is a free toolkit given to families impacted by autism. It is a means to educate, raise awareness, and provide simple tools that may assist families in preventing, and responding to, wandering-related emergencies. To request this resource, or the free BeRedy Booklet for Caregivers, please go to these links: NAA’s Big Red Safety Box® and NAA's Be REDy Booklet for Caregivers, or call 877-622-2884.

For additional information, there are free resources available from the National Autism Association: please see Autism and Wandering Prevention Tips.